Registration of Rights of Way

The Land and Conveyancing Act came into effect in December 2009 and allowed for a three year grace period to register a Right of Way acquired under the old law in the Land Registry or the Registry of Deeds.  The grace period was extended by twelve years to December 2021 and it is therefore crucial for people who use a right of way to ensure that it is registered and if not proceed to have it registered before the 30th of November 2021 deadline.

Under the 2009 Act the user period with regards to the right of way only begins accruing from the commencement of the Act which was the 1st of December 2009 (notwithstanding there may have been an additional period claimed before that date).  This is important as should you fail to register a right of way prior to November 30th 2021 any user period before the 1st of December 2009 will not be considered and you will need to meet the criteria set down in the 2009 Act rather than relying on any previous legislation.

There are three ways you can register a right of way:-

  1. Enter into a Deed of Right of Way with the owner of the land over which the right of way relates.
  2. Lodge an application in the Land Registry, or
  3. A Court application.

The Land and Conveyancing Reform Act, 2009 tried to simplify the law regarding acquiring rights of way by prescription.  The Act changed the law in relation to the length of time needed to establish a right of way and provides for a new twelve year period of user.  Prior to the 1st of December 2021 a person claiming a right of way by long user continues to claim a right of way accrued under the Prescription Acts and has to show a minimum period of twenty years.  From December 2021 any right of way claim must be under the 2009 Act and must show they have the relevant user period which for private land will be a minimum of twelve years being “user as of right” without interruption immediately before the claim / commencement of legal action.

With the 2009 Act the user period only begins accruing from the commencement of the Act being the 1st of December 2009 even where additional user periods are claimed before that date.  If someone fails to register a right of way prior to the 30th of November 2021 any user period before the 1st of December 2009 will not be considered.  It is therefore extremely important that if you do believe you benefit from a right of way that you ensure that it is registered prior to the 1st of December 2021.

 

If you require assistance in relation to this matter please contact us at info@dillon.ie or 01 296 0666.